NEW YORK, September 15, 2016 – As of January 1, 2017, Daniel Wallen is stepping down as chairman of Otterbourg P.C., after leading the firm for more than two decades. Richard L. Stehl, who heads the firm’s corporate and specialty finance practice groups, will become chairman of the firm and its executive committee. David W. Morse, who leads the firm’s general banking and finance practice, will be the firm’s vice chairman and president. Messrs. Stehl and Morse have been with Otterbourg for their entire careers and have been part of the firm’s management team for many years. Mr. Wallen will remain a member of the firm after he leaves his position as firm chairman.
The leadership changes announced by Otterbourg are the next steps in a multi-year transition plan initiated and led by Mr. Wallen. Steps in the plan that have already been completed include a firm rebranding, a major renovation of Otterbourg’s offices and technology systems at 230 Park Avenue, and the appointment last year of Melanie L. Cyganowski, former U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York, as the head of the firm’s bankruptcy department, including its insolvency litigation services, ADR and fiduciary appointments practice areas. All of these and the remaining steps in the firm’s transition plan are focused on expanding and enhancing the firm’s historically strong position in the legal and business communities.
“I’m honored to assume the chairman role that Dan has handled so skillfully for so many years,” Mr. Stehl said. “Generational shifts are often a challenge for law firms, but the smart, strategic approach to law firm management epitomized by Dan and the carefully executed transition process he has led have set Otterbourg on a course for continued growth and success in the future. Along with David and the firm’s dedicated team of terrific lawyers and staff, I look forward to building upon Dan’s exceptional vision and accomplishments.”
Mr. Morse added, “I also want to particularly thank Dan on behalf of all of us here for his incredible hard work and dedication to the firm in a way that has been critical to fostering our culture that is focused on addressing the needs of our clients. We are continually evaluating how to best position the firm to meet those needs and I look forward to continuing to work with Richard and the rest of the firm to further enhance our ability to provide our clients with the legal excellence and quality of client service that have been the hallmark of Otterbourg for more than 100 years.”
Mr. Wallen will remain involved in completing the transition and will continue to work with clients after the leadership changes are effective on January 1, 2017. Mr. Wallen emphasized that the time is right to give the next generation of firm leaders the opportunity to move the firm forward.
“Richard and David both stand out for their integrity, leadership, business development accomplishments and stellar reputations as leading lawyers in their practice areas,” said Mr. Wallen. “I am pleased that the firm will be in such capable hands, and I am confident that under their leadership Otterbourg’s continued future success is assured.”
Mr. Stehl represents corporate clients in a range of general commercial transactions, as well as institutional lenders, banks, finance companies, hedge funds, factors and insurance companies in negotiating and documenting domestic and international secured lending arrangements, including cash flow, middle market, leveraged, unitranche, and first and second lien loan transactions. He also frequently represents secured lenders in bankruptcies, workouts, reorganizations, and portfolio and business unit acquisitions and dispositions. Mr. Stehl is deeply involved in many charitable causes including serving as a member of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, a microfinance charity which promotes entrepreneurialism and economic growth in Third World countries. Mr. Stehl received his law degree from St. John’s University and his LL.M. degree from New York University Law School. He also holds an M.B.A. degree from The Hofstra University School of Business.
Mr. Morse represents banks, hedge funds, commercial finance companies and other institutional lenders in the structuring and documentation of financing transactions, both domestic and cross-border facilities, and including loan workouts and restructurings. He has been co-chair of the International Lending Conference sponsored by the Commercial Finance Association since its inception in 2006, and he represents the Commercial Finance Association to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in its current project on secured transactions law. Mr. Morse is a fellow in the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, as well as a member of the Executive Board of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, and a member of the Commercial Finance Association Education Foundation Governing Board. He received his law degree from the New York University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
About Otterbourg P.C.
Otterbourg P.C. offers clients a unique combination of legal insight and practical solutions and is known for its integrity, legal expertise, stability and business knowledge. The firm, established more than 100 years ago, regularly represents clients in matters of national and international scope, including banks, finance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, real estate investment firms, corporate clients and high net-worth individuals. The firm’s practice areas include domestic and cross-border financings, litigation and alternative dispute resolutions, real estate, restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions, and trusts and estates.O